Columbus, OH

‘Anonymous: Your Secrets, Our Show’ reveals the truth, but not the source

The Lantern
The Nest Theatre on the opening night of the sold out ‘Anonymous: Your Secrets, Our Show’ on Jan. 20. Credit: Matthew Ratterman | Lantern Reporter

One of the Nest Theatre’s most popular shows, “Anonymous: Your Secrets, Our Show” turns your confession into a profession, adding an extra element by not revealing whose secrets are whose.

The North High Street theater’s own improvisation group, Anonymous, performs “Anonymous: Your Secrets, Our Show” Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. in which it performs the cast’s and audience members’ secret stories in a comical way. Tickets will be between $15-100 based on seating placement and method of purchase. Anonymous also aims to make this its 41st sold-out show in a row.

The show takes personal stories between 50-75 words from cast members and guests in order to lead the story they are improvising, according to the website . Stories will be randomly chosen from the cast’s “big board,” secrets that were written down before the show. None of the cast members know what the secrets are before the discussion.

Co-founder of Anonymous and performer Rance Rizzutto discussed how this show is laid out.

“The stories are the nucleus of the show, but they inspire the comedic scenes,” Rizzutto said.
“We don’t replay anything, we just chat about it and then inspire ourselves to do scenes from those details.”

When talking about whether some secrets can be hard to make stories out of, Rizzutto said a specific instance stood out to him: “I steal Kroger donuts.”

While this wasn’t exactly what they were looking for when setting a word limit, Rizzutto said, they were able to make a story out of it.

“I remember when I was five, and I took a candy bar out of a store and then had to go apologize,” Rizzutto said. “So, it leads to a discussion, and the discussion feels out more potential possibilities.”

Co-founder, artistic director and performer Tara DeFrancisco gave insight into how people feel when hearing their own stories acted out by the cast.

“Excited,” DeFrancisco said. “We definitely have an ethos at the Nest where we always try to celebrate the audience members rather than ridicule them.”

While audience members may be nervous about writing down their secrets, Rizzutto said, people can also just sit back and enjoy the show without writing any secrets for the cast members to perform.

“It’s also voluntary, where not everyone has to come in and write down a secret,” Rizzutto said.

Anyone can enjoy the show, whether it be students looking for stress relief, workers or families, DeFrancisco said.

“We have over 35 rotational shows at the Nest, so there’s stuff for everybody,” DeFrancisco said. “You can see people exhale from their week when they get into the theater because they’re there, and they grab a drink and laugh for an hour.”

The variety of shows at Nest Theatre allows Anonymous to further connect with other performers and cast members, Rizzutto and DeFrancisco said.

“A lot of the people knew each other and if not, you have the same kind of fundamentals that build a strong foundation of community when you join a cast at the Nest,” Rizzutto said.

The ability to understand improvisation and connect with other cast members is the key to success, DeFrancisco said.

“Once you learn how to do the tenets of improvisation, it’s easier to implement them into any show that you do,” DeFrancisco said. “It’s all about trust and connection with your cast,” DeFrancisco said.

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